October 18, 1999
Left to right: Airman Josh Saintz of Bothell, Cadet Staff Sergeant Caros Fodor of Lake Forest Park, Airman Knight, Airman 1st Class Eric Bol of Bothell, and Airman Keith Miller of Brier.
by Marshall Haley, staff reporter
WOODINVILLE--The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadet color guard that opened the Oct. 2 ReLeaf project at Wilmot Park won the Pacific Region CAP Color Guard competition at McCord Air Force Base on Aug. 21. They competed against the best teams from Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Oregon. Northshore has won the state championship the last three years.
The team will compete in the national finals in December at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, CAP's national headquarters, pitting the winning teams from eight regions around the country. Each team performs physical fitness testing, indoor and outdoor drills, flag presentation, and a written exam. The team is currently fundraising for their trip to the nationals.
"We were invited to open the fundraising dinner for Vice President Al Gore last week in Seattle," said team coordinator CAP First Lt. Ron Sterling of Kenmore, who started preparing the current team for this year's competition in late March.
Only two of the five current members were part of last year's team. The team is in its fourth year of competition. Team members include: the team's commander, Cadet Staff Sgt. Caros Fodor of Lake Forest Park; Cadet Tech Sgt. Knight; Cadet Airman First Class Eric Bol of Bothell; Cadet Airman Keith Miller of Brier; and Cadet Airman Josh Saintz of Bothell.
Leota Junior High student and CAP Cadet Airman Derek Simoes, 15, a volunteer worker for the City of Woodinville, was instrumental in arranging for the color guard to open the Wilmot ReLeaf project.
"The Civil Air Patrol is good preparation for young people, to help acquaint them with some of the realities of military life before they actually enlist," said Simoes. "Semper Vigilance is our motto, meaning 'always vigilant.' The CAP is a volunteer, non-profit auxiliary of the Air Force. CAP's three missions are the cadet program, emergency services like search and rescue, and aerospace education. Our highest cadet award, the Spaatz Award given to a cadet colonel, almost guarantees entrance to the Air Force Academy. To qualify for that award, a cadet must spend at least five years with CAP, prove commitment, organization skills, demonstrate honor and dignity, and pass through every cadet rank."
Simoes said he hopes to join the Air Force after high school and become an officer by signing up for college during his enlistment, which would be paid for by the Air Force.
The CAP's Northshore Squadron includes adults and youths from Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Brier, and North Seattle. It meets at the FEMA Center in Bothell every Monday at 7 p.m.